The increasing criminality on Nigeria’s territorial waters such as illegal bunkering, oil theft, smuggling, piracy and sea robbery would be effectively curbed this year.
Chairman of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) board, Lt.-Col. Abu Kefas (rtd), made the pledge while speaking with newsmen on Thursday in Jalingo, Taraba State.
Kefas said the agency was collaborating with the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and the Nigerian Navy for air surveillance of the nation’s maritime domain and patrol of the territorial waters to curb the illegal activities.
“Already, this collaboration is yielding positive results. NIMASA’s performance in 2013 had made the country’s water ways safe for investors. We hope to do more in 2014 bearing in mind that our activities with other agencies will put an end to the menace of crude oil theft in the country,” he said.
Kefas commended the Federal Government for addressing youth restiveness in the Niger Delta.
He also called on the people of Taraba State to work together for the development of the state.
The Federal Government had said the country was losing between 60,000 and 80,000 barrels daily to crude oil theft. Figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the economy grew at a slower rate in the second quarter at 6.18 per cent than the 6.56 per cent in previous quarter owing to oil theft and pipeline shutdown.
But President Jonathan said the loss of 80,000 barrels daily as a result of crude oil theft was minimal compared to the 400,000 being reported in some quarters.
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